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The Howling (1981)

R | | Horror | 10 April 1981 (USA)
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After a bizarre and near deadly encounter with a serial killer, a television newswoman is sent to a remote mountain resort whose residents may not be what they seem.

Director:

Joe Dante

Writers:

Gary Brandner (novel), John Sayles (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dee Wallace ... Karen White
Patrick Macnee ... Dr. George Waggner
Dennis Dugan ... Chris Halloran
Christopher Stone ... R. William 'Bill' Neill
Belinda Balaski ... Terry Fisher
Kevin McCarthy ... Fred Francis
John Carradine ... Erle Kenton
Slim Pickens ... Sam Newfield
Elisabeth Brooks ... Marsha Quist
Robert Picardo ... Eddie Quist
Margie Impert Margie Impert ... Donna
Noble Willingham ... Charlie Barton
James Murtaugh ... Jerry Warren
James MacKrell James MacKrell ... Lew Landers (as Jim McKrell)
Kenneth Tobey ... Older Cop
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Storyline

In a red light district, newswoman Karen White is bugged by the police, investigating serial killer Eddie Quist, who has been molesting her through phone calls. After police officers find them in a peep-show cabin and shoot Eddie, Karen becomes emotionally disturbed and loses her memory. Hoping to conquer her inner demons, she heads for the Colony, a secluded retreat where the creepy residents are rather too eager to make her feel at home. There also seems to be a bizarre connection between Eddie Quist and this supposedly safe haven. And when, after nights of being tormented by unearthly cries, Karen ventures into the forest and makes a terrifying discovery. Written by Tim Kretschmann <Tim.K@VirComm.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

They're out there - and you're in the middle of your worst nightmare... See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

10 April 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Aullidos See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$17,986,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert Picardo's debut cinematic appearance. See more »

Goofs

The book shop owner says a full moon is a Hollywood myth and werewolves can change whenever they like. He then adds they can only be killed with silver bullets, (which is another Hollywood myth). The filmmakers pick and choose, because silver bullets serve the plot later on. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Dr. George Waggner: Repression. Repression is the father of neurosis, of self-hatred. Now, stress results when we fight against our impulses. We've all heard people talk about animal magnetism, the natural man. the noble savage, as if we'd lost something valuable in our long evolution into civilized human beings. Now there's a good reason for this.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the very end of the credits, there is a brief clip from The Wolf Man (1941). See more »

Alternate Versions

The original uncut Fake Porn Movie (parts of it can be seen in the sex shop scene) was supposed to be included on the UK DVD by Momentum. But the BBFC rejected it due to "serious concerns about the portrayal of sexual violence". See more »

Connections

Featured in The Howling with Co-Writer Terence H. Winkless (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Hunting for Shadows
(uncredited)
Composed by Pino Donaggio
Conducted by Natale Massara
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

'The Howling' is one of the all time best werewolf movies.
2 June 2004 | by InfofreakSee all my reviews

Most of my favourite horror movies of the 1980s were small, indie movies made outside the major studio system e.g. 'The Evil Dead', 'Maniac', 'Basket Case'. Most of the "big" horror movies then (like now) were pretty lame. 'The Howling' is a notable exception. Watching it over twenty years after it was originally released is quite an eye-opener. It not only holds up well, it is in fact, a damn fine movie. Joe Dante must take the credit for this. For me in the 1980s Dante was like a smarter, more inventive Spielberg. Dante, who learned his chops working for Roger Corman as an editor, writer and director, is a knowledgeable horror buff (Universal, Hammer, Bava movies) with a sly wit and great sense of fun. 'The Howling' is full of in jokes and ironic nods, but never goes all the way into comedy. Dante takes the material seriously. This is a pretty scary movie and the werewolves are some of the best ever seen. Dee Wallace ('The Hills Have Eyes', 'The Frighteners') is a TV reporter who is traumatized after a close encounter with a serial killer (Dante regular Robert Picardo). Dr. Waggner (Patrick Macnee of 'The Avengers' fame), a charming psychiatrist she knows and trusts suggest that she and her husband Bill (Christopher Stone) join him at his therapeutic retreat "The Colony". I won't spoil the movie by going into detail about what happens next, but it's creepy and entertaining. Wallace is very good and Picardo, who usually plays comic roles, is convincing as Quist the psycho nut job. 'The Howling' was co-written by John Sayles, who pops up in a cameo, as does Roger Corman, and super fan Forrest J. Ackerman, former editor of 'Famous Monsters Of Filmland'. Dante is a loyal guy who always likes to acknowledge where he is coming from, so as well as Corman and Ackerman there are roles for horror legend John Carradine, Kevin McCarthy ('Invasion Of The Body Snatchers'), Kenneth Tobey ('The Thing From Another World'), Slim Pickens ('Dr Strangelove') and Dick Miller (as "Walter Paisley" his character in Corman's 1950s b-grade classic 'A Bucket Of Blood'). 'The Howling' is sure to be enjoyed by every horror buff and for me is one of the all time best werewolf movies along with Universal's 'The Wolf Man' and Hammer's underrated 'The Curse Of The Werewolf'.


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